Ok. First things first: The name of this car? The brand is called “Seat.” You pronounce it “Say-Aht.” And the second part? Well, the second part we’re not so sure on, largely because we heard three different public relations representatives from the Volkswagen/Audi Group (Seat’s parent company) say it differently. It may be “Tree-boo.” It may be “Try-boo.” It may be – don’t laugh, carmakers do this, making up weird pronunciations for the names of their cars all the time – “Tribbajibbajibjab.” We don’t know. Such is the Volkswagen/Audi PR machine that we’re destined *not* to know. Thankfully, none of this is important.
What *is* important is that you know why we find this dinky little sport-utility crossover guy so interesting: It looks cool. Really cool. In person, the Tribu appears mean, chunky, and ferociously different. It’s dynamic, passionate, and almost Italian. Why is this, you ask? Simple: Seat’s chief designer, a man named Luc Donkerwolke, used to be chief designer at Lamborghini.
Looks aside, the Tribu isn’t really anything special. A turbocharged diesel engine lives under the hood (no mention as to what configuration or how it’s laid out), and a twin-mode suspension/engine/transmission management system is fitted to ensure optimum torque distribution and performance regardless of conditions. Twenty-inch wheels, retractable door handles, LED lighting, a panoramic roof, and seating for four are also part of the package.
Seat claims that the Tribu foreshadows the future styling direction of the Seat brand, and if that’s the case, more power to ’em.